A question of balance
It's important to eliminate bias when analysing results such as these.
A survey by BMW on a BMW-built electric car on a BMW-run trial is likely neither to criticize the vehicle too heavily, nor put the car into any situation where it might struggle to cope with an owner's usage. With some big-budget electric BMWs in the pipeline, there's commercial interest in the vehicle appearing fit for purpose.
At the same time, you can argue that it was
the perfect test, because at this stage, nobody is likely to buy an electric car if it doesn't suit their needs, so the people who do "go EV" already know they can live with one. Some car owners do huge distances every year and need a large car for their families and paraphernalia, and they're obviously not going to choose an EV for the task. Many drivers just do short distances though and many others are part of two or more car families, and in both cases an EV may be perfect. If your daily commute is 25 miles then an EV with a 100-mile range offers far more
than you need.
We're discovering that EV buyers tend to be a well-educated bunch and as such, we don't see anyone accidentally buying an EV to find out that it doesn't meet their needs. In this respect, BMW's test could be considered quite realistic.
The important thing is to understand that for many people, an EV still isn't a suitable method of transport for reasons of cost or because their longer journeys are regular enough to make it inconvenient. BMW's test results are very positive for EV ownership and as an example of how well EVs can work to the wider public, but we can't scorn those for whom EV ownership still isn't a realistic option.
One of the most telling figures of the test? Despite loving the MINI E, 55 percent of the testers said they'd wait another few years before buying an electric car. BMW isn't quite there yet - could the i3 turn the tide?